HP Thermal Inkjet (TIJ) has been a popular choice for packaging and mail addressing applications for more than two decades. This should come as no surprise given the compelling value proposition associated with TIJ. The technology is easy to use, reliable, high speed, and provides superb print quality. What more could you ask from a clean & green printing solution?
Despite the undeniable success of TIJ, competitors are quick to criticize TIJ based on the cost of inkjet ink. However, the true measure of cost is the TOTAL cost to own and operate a print system, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Looking at ink costs alone is incomplete.
Volume end users in coding are particularly interested in TCO analysis. TIJ is clearly a winner with TCO. For customers printing large characters or running 24/7, they can significantly reduce operating costs by switching to bulk ink supplies. Consider the portfolio of bulk ink products commonly found in mailing and packaging operations.
Simple Bulk Ink Solutions
HP C6119A Black Bulk Ink Supply was the first industrial ink product to gain traction in the the TIJ industrial bulk ink market. HP C6119A is a gravity fed solution, which means the ink supply must be installed at a certain height relative to the print head. This is the best solution to achieve lowest supply cost with minimal associated hardware costs. The self-contained system is a little more temperamental than other bulk products, but after a short period of time virtually anyone can learn the right handling procedures.
Users looking for a solution that’s a little more robust might consider a bag-in-a-box ink delivery system. Offered in 800ml bags, this product comes with a pressure regulator which is important so operators have more freedom to mount ink supplies. A light tree typically accompanies the bag-in-a-box and it tells the operator when the bag is empty. This gives the operator approximately 30 minutes to “Hot Swap” the bulk tank. The printer continues to run during this time.
The most used industrial bulk ink solution is the 350ml supply from Hewlett Packard known as HP Q7457A. Similar to the bag-in-a-box, HP Q7457A is pressure regulated. The typical system has 2 bulk supplies feeding up to 8 print heads. Only one is in use. When the system senses the tank is empty, it switches to the next tank and changes the light tree status from green to yellow notifying the operator to replace the empty tank. If this does not happen and the second tank runs empty, the light tree changes to red, but will still run for approximately 15 minutes while the operator “Hot Swaps” the tanks. Furthermore, this alternative ensures the full usage of the ink before swapping out the supply for a new one. Other systems have a propensity to strand a small amount of ink at the bottom of the bulk supply. (NOTE: There’s also a 680ml jumbo version of the same product specifically for RSI and Markem systems which looks identical to the 350ml model, just longer.)
Another option for bulk systems is a bulk bottle, which comes with or without the pressure regulator. These systems work similarly to the others described.
Save More by Going Bulk
CASE Printing Solutions is an expert when it comes to helping customers GO BULK. Whether you’re running a high speed mail addressing system, or a 24/7 packaging line, CASE can help. Call or email us for assistance to: (1) troubleshoot your inkjet printer, (2) implement a bulk ink system, (3) buy & save when purchasing original and remanufactured HP ink products, (4) rebuild your print system and thereby extend its useful life, and (5) upgrade to a new print system.
CASE Printing Solutions has 15+ years’ experience refilling HP bulk ink supplies. We help you get the most from your HP TIJ system and maximize Return on Investment. Contact us today: (541) 754-2273, or www.caseprintingsolutions.com